The Band

Compilation Reviews:

1996: The Weight [1968–1977]

The Weight

Rating: 2/10
Rated as
: Anthology
Compilation Status
: Useless
Released: 1996
Recorded: 1968–1977
Specific Genre: Folk Rock, Roots Rock
Main Genre: Rock
: Rhythm&Blues, Country Rock
Label: Disky

1 The Weight 2. The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down 3. Ain’t Got No Home 4. I Shall Be Released 5. A Change Is Gonna Come 6. The Third Man Theme 7. Don’t Do It (Baby Don’t You Do It) 8. Stage Fright 9. King Harvest (Has Surely Come) 10. Long Black Veil 11. The River Hymn 12. Georgia on My Mind 13. The Great Pretender 14. 4% Pantomime

Pretending that I’m doing well

Let’s make this short and painless. This is one of those compilations leaving you scratching your head after you hauled it out of some one-dollar-bin at some magnificent sale. Who would make this, who would issue this? Who would put up with securing the rights, getting a graphic design, digging out a legally (?) usable photograph (which is used – stick with me – no less than five times: on the front cover, inside the booklet, on that booklet’s backside, on the CD itself and on the back cover). The photo is credited to the Michael Ochs Archives, and I’m afraid that is about the amount of archival diligence you’re going to get from this.

Let’s see what is there. All of their first seven albums between 1968 and 1977 – including “Don’t Do It” from the live album, Rock of Ages, – get at least a cut. Yet Northern Lights – Southern Cross (1975) gets none. Why? And the thoroughly mediocre Moondog Matinee (1973) gets four tracks. That is half the original album. Why? And granted, the Band is a quintessential album-rock-band if there ever was one. The inclusion of filler obscurities like the “Third Man Theme” seems to be there to give you the feeling of diligent sequencing, of an “album-experience”. Why?

There is no rhyme or reason to any of this. The publisher, Disky, is a Dutch label having licensed these tracks from EMI in 1996 (the year the Thorn Electric Industries was demerged from Thorn EMI, creating the EMI Group). I don’t know which passions whip the people at Disky, but this is from their website (the Hermans Group):

„Various Dutch TV series and international music series are among the concepts which Disky Entertainment has introduced successfully.“

Shakespearean eloquence, Dickensian prose.

This is a typical one-dollar-trash-bin compilation – not more, and, only possibly, not less.

Music from Big Pink (1968): 1, 4, 10
The Band (1969): 2, 9
Moondog Matinee (1973): 3, 5, 6, 13
Rock of Ages (1972): 7
Stage Fright (1970): 8
Cahoots (1971): 11, 14
Islands (1977): 12